BSP launches PesoNet system to accelerate e-payment in PH

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) launched on Wednesday, Nov. 8, the Philippine Electronic Fund Transfer and Operations Network (PesoNet) to increase the adoption of electronic payments in the country.

BSP governor Nestor Espenilla Jr.

BSP governor Nestor Espenilla Jr.

In his speech during the PesoNet launch at the BSP office in Manila, BSP governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said the Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) system will be a big help as it will enable e-commerce and lower the cost of doing business.

“While this is already being partially implemented we see wider government participation. It will lead to more efficient budget utilization,” he said.

PesoNet provides an electronic alternative to the still widely used paper-based check system, the BSP said.

Funds can be made available to the recipient’s account within the same banking day or immediately upon clearing. Payees receive the funds transferred in full and will not pay for electronic crediting to their accounts.

In a briefing, Union Bank SVP and head of PesoNet Technical Working Group (TWG) John Ong said transactions using this system will have minimal fee at around the same level as interbank withdrawal fees, which is around P12 to P16 per transaction.

“The idea is to make it cheap and competitive,” he said, noting also that the BSP will not dictate pricing on the service fee “so it’s an open market.”

Ong said consumers will still have the last decision on which banks to choose. He added that transaction fee will only be collected from senders and remitters.

PesoNet

Espenilla said a study has shown that 98 percent of Filipinos can be included in the formal banking system with the help of electronic channels.

He admitted that most consumers are having a hard time accepting e-payment as mode of payment as they are not used to it. Thus, he asked bank officials to undertake stronger efforts to address the problem.

To date, 33 banks and non-bank electronic money issuers in the country have signed up to be part of PesoNet, the first automated clearing house under the National Retail Payment System (NRPS) program spearheaded by the BSP.

Among the banks that are already part of the system are Bank of the Philippine Island (BPI), Land Bank of the Philippines, Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Banco de Oro Unibank Inc. (BDO), Bank of Commerce, China Bank Savings, Eastwest Banking Corporation (EastWest Bank), Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company, and Union Bank of the Philippines. – Joann Villanueva (PNA)

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